Inhibition: I felt like I might be setting myself up to be embarrassed or feel VERY uncomfortable.
Betty’s Response: No one cares, grow up…you’re how old for gawd’s sakes?
Experience: First let me say that because this blog is PG rated there’s a lot of the Museum that won’t be posted. Second, details of what I learned are from the excellent LA&M visitors guide and the most gracious Archivist/Collections Librarian, Jakob VanLammeren.
The museum is located at 6418 N. Greenview Ave. and was once a synagogue, an arts center, and then in 1999 became the genius of what the museum is today.
Upon entering the museum is the lobby/gift/book store where you pay 10.00 to visit the museum (minimum age 18 and the ticket is good for 1 month). Next, the Uniforms room.
On my way to the Main Gallery below I passed through the Etienne Auditorium where several murals, that once hung in The Gold Coast and Chicago Eagle leather bars, are permanently on display. The auditorium seats 164 and host film festivals, live performances, college classes, performances, and leather competitions.
Prior to entering the Main Gallery is an installation focused on bondage safety along with the devises used in such activities.
Next, an overview of Leather Bars and their history along with an installation.
Then into the Main Gallery. Here a history of erotic expression and sexual behavior to present day practices are exhibited in text, imagery, banners and flags from parades and events, objects related to kink and fetish practices, and installations. There’s a Screening Room for short films and documentaries and a Guest Artist Gallery.
Last a goodbye to the Archivist and Collections Librarian Jakob Van Lammeren.
What I didn’t know: That the term “leather” is “used as a broad term to describe those that participate in unconventional expressions of eroticism and sexual behavior. The term spans all genders, ages, kinks, fetishes, and orientations.” (Taken directly from the LA&M Museum visitors guide.) What I also didn’t know was there was such a strong community that invites, includes, and embraces those who need to engage in “alternative” sexual practices where safety and compassion are emphasized.
Many thanks to the LA&M Museum for a VERY interesting experience.
So for Betty and me, I’ll sign off with the extension of the invitation…SHOW ME WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW!